It is with great sadness that I react to the death of Annegret Bollée, distinguished creolist, professor at Bamberg University, my dear colleague and dearest friend. We had the great pleasure to celebrate her lifetime achievement award of Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics just some weeks ago at the SPCL online summer meeting. Annegret gave an interesting talk about her current work on word formation in creole languages. She once more showed that her breadth of knowledge on French creoles and related French dialects (in synchrony and diachrony) has been and will stay outstanding for future creolists and language contact specialists. What a gift for creole studies and for all of us she was!
Personally, I owe her so much. In 1989, I went to the Seychelles with her for the first time. She introduced me to many Seychellois, we went swimming very early in the morning when the day was still fresh and cool, and Annegret loved to eat fresh tropical fruits. She was a hard-working person, but was always ready to take a break, to chat, to share her immense knowledge with me, a young PhD student at the time. Already then she inspired in me the love for creole cultures and languages. In the early 90s, I tried to become a classical Romance linguist at Annegret’s chair in Bamberg. She offered me the best conditions ever (professionally and personally) to flourish. But after 7 years I decided to quit Romance linguistics and to go back to my first true love, creole languages. She was sad that I left, but she had the highest respect for my decision. What a true teacher and mentor!
I have never come across any person with such a beautiful generosity of spirit. I will miss her so much. Rest in peace, dear Annegret.
Susanne Maria Michaelis
P.S. Please feel free to leave a tribute below (‘Leave a reply’), in any language you wish. You may also send me photos so that I can display them as part of this post (susanne_michaelis[at]eva.mpg.de).
Here are links to obituaries by Ingrid Neumann-Holzschuh, Martin Haase, Bamberg University, and University of Seychelles & Creole Institute of Seychelles, Seychelles News Agency.